Following the departures of rugby league icons and Australian legends Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk in the last twelve months, Melbourne Storm are looking for players to step up and fill the voids as they aim to remain one of the very best teams in the NRL – and Cameron Munster is relishing the opportunity.
Shortly after signing a new deal keeping him at the club until the end of 2023, 24-year-old Munster seems set to be the leading playmaker for Craig Bellamy’s Storm going forward – especially with club captain Cameron Smith not yet signed on for 2019. Despite the changing of the guard with many experienced players either having recently departed or coming to the end of their careers, Munster is excited for the future at the club. “I’m really excited for the new crop of players coming through – really excited about the youth coming through,” he told the media after extending his time with the club he has represented since 2014.
That deal – if seen through – will take his time at the club to a decade and, while he will only be in his late-twenties at it’s culmination, he is already eyeing a career where he solely pulls on the Melbourne jersey. “I would really like to be a one-club man but as you know it’s a business. They’ve put their faith in me for the next five years so it’s up to me to repay that faith now,” he explained. Indeed, with approaching ninety NRL appearances to his name with the AAMI Park club, he is one of the most experienced players in the squad and, despite suffering the ignominy of being sin-binned twice in their NRL Grand Final defeat to Sydney in September, he is one of the contenders to succeed Smith as the club captain. Munster, however, is backing another teammate. “It’s not just me but Jesse Bromwich has captained his country so he’d be next in line to captain the club,” he explained, continuing that, whoever gets the role, it will be the job of a group of players to ensure the Storm of the future – without Slater, Cronk and Smith (when he does call it a day) – carries on in the same vein.